Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit

It may seem like I'm going off-topic from my usual homeschooling theme here, but please bear with me. This is what I'm thinking about these days, and this blog is the place I have to write through it. And the truth is, this applies to homeschooling too, even though that wasn't the point of pain in this particular story.

My husband is going through a career change. At the end of the month, he will be quitting his job as a computer technician, and he will become an elder in our church and minister full-time there. He will be preaching three times every Sunday, leading a mid-week Bible Study, and doing whatever pastors do as he begins to study towards becoming a pastor himself.

The interesting thing about God calling a man into ministry is that at the same time God calls the man's wife to be a minister's wife. And I don't feel like I have what it takes.

I have seen good pastor's wives. They are warm, and caring, and kind. They connect people. Their homes are open. They are intentional and wise.

I am introverted. Caring conversations do not come easily to me. I feel insecure about opening my home. I do not have the spiritual resources in myself to do the job God is calling me to.

There's something else to this story. My husband has actually been preaching for years on the side as a lay preacher. We have been part of a lovely congregation, one that gave him grace as he worked more than full-time and just did not have the time to do many of the things pastors do. In many ways we were allowed to be a blessing just by being there... I could feel that I encouraged just by adding my voice to the singing, and by taking our young boys to church amidst an aging congregation. But my expectations of myself have changed now that my husband has changed his focus and decided to go full-time.

Is this a question of expectations of myself that are too high? Maybe that is part of it, but I don't think it is all of it. I do still see my callings as wife, mother, and educator as primary in my life. I ask myself what God expects of me in this new role he has suddenly placed me in. I believe He wants me to love His people and to show that love. And the openness required in showing love is not something that comes naturally to me.

"I'm going to need help, Lord," I prayed last night. "I'm willing, but I'm not sure I have what it takes."

And this morning (I was reading Spurgeon's commentary on Matthew) He said, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Poor in spirit. What can that mean but that a person doesn't have what it takes, spiritually speaking? I realized that this place I am, where I realize that I don't have enough love, or openness, or wisdom for the job God is calling me to is also the place where I know I need Him. This is a good, a blessed place to be, however uncomfortable it seems.

Since this is a homeschooling blog, I'll take it back there. I've always been quite confident in my ability to homeschool. I've seen this as a blessing. I know that none of it is worth anything unless the Lord blesses it, unless the Holy Spirit teaches my children. But this is a place of confidence, not of pain, for me. But some of you are poor in spirit when it comes to homeschooling. Perhaps you know God has called you to do it, but you don't feel have the spiritual resources to teach your children for his glory. You are blessed. Blessed! You know with all your heart that you can't do it without Him. You may not have what it takes, but He has everything that you need.

Yours is the kingdom of heaven.